Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Letter

God has been blessing so much at work. We had a school district client of ours that purchased something like 15 or 20 scanners without consulting with us first to make sure that it was compatible with our software. I worked on it off and on in the last couple days of the week and I was able to get it to work, but it was really not the way I should have done it. I kind of just wanted to prove that it could be done with this "hacky" way of writing the code and then see if I could actually do it the "right" way. Anyway, after being stuck on this issue for quite a while, I took it to the Lord in prayer and just started typing. I'm so thankful for intellisense... for the non-programmers out there, this is basically auto-complete... but better. It gives you a list of all the things you can choose from. For example, if you had an object called, Person, you might have options like last name, first name, middle name, date of birth, height, weight, hair color, eye color, etc. Well, I started typing... and God was gracious in allowing me to find the solution to this issue that had stumped my boss and myself. It was a simple three lines of code. God is so good! It was a great reminder to me not to trust in my own strength or creativity, but to rely fully on Him.

I was reading in 2 Timothy 1 this evening and thinking of different individuals in my life who have been an encouragement to me to "take the next step" in my relationship with the Lord. Sometimes I wish that they would send me a letter... just take 10 minutes out of their day and point out the blind spots that I have and encourage me to be wholly submitted to the Lord. The reality is that I am that guy in some instances. I don't mean this in any kind of "stuck-up" way... I mean it in a sobering responsibility kind of way. God has entrusted me with some influence on the lives of others and I really feel that I need to do a better job in using that stewardship from the Lord to encourage others in Christ. Take a look at this example from Paul to Timothy.
To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy. For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.
I would love to receive a letter like this... who wouldn't? In order to encourage like this, we must model it. Paul wasn't asking Timothy to suffer for Christ because he [Paul] wasn't willing to do it himself. No, Paul was leading the way and saying... hey, Timothy... I know this is hard, but I'm in it... and it's so worth it!

I am encouraged by Paul and his example. Paul probably had no idea that I would exist someday or that I would read this letter or that I'd be encouraged by it. I love the mystery and infinite wisdom of God. He doesn't tell us how much He is intending to use us for His glory... He just does it! May He give us the grace to lead by example and encourage those around us to do the same.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

2 Timothy 1:12. Paul KNOWS His God so well. To know He is entirely trustworthy with whatever is surrendered to God - glad for the verse. Indeed it would have been so encouraging receiving such a letter; I suppose 2 Corinthians 1:4 may mean @ times it is we that are to be writing the encouragements after receiving them from the Lord, instead of receiving the encouragements from friends in letters. :)